Maskit (Hebrew: משכית) is an Israeli fashion house founded in 1954 by Ruth Dayan, the first wife of Moshe Dayan. It was the country's first fashion house. Maskit produces textiles, clothing, objets d’art, and jewelry.
In the early years of the state, when the government was seeking work opportunities for new immigrants to Israel, Ruth Dayan realized that many of them were skilled in decorative arts such as embroidery, rugs, and arts and crafts. The concept of Maskit, which Dayan founded in 1954, was to take modern European patterns and combine them with ethnic embroidery.
In 1955, Dayan met fashion designer Finy Leitersdorf, who designed clothes and accessories for Maskit over a period of 15 years. The two collaborated on a joint exhibit of Maskit designs at the Dizengoff Museum (today the Tel Aviv Museum).
In an interview in 1966, Leitersdorf spoke about the "Israeliness" of Maskit clothing. It was not just the Yemenite embroidery, she said, but the "range of colors - the desert brown, the impure black inspired by Bedouin tents, and the eternally changing blue of the Mediterranean." She also cited the loose design, which made life more comfortable in the country's hot climate.
Maskit enjoyed worldwide success in the 1960s, with clients that included Audrey Hepburn. From the 1960s to the 1980s, Maskit employed 2,000 people, with ten stores in Israel and one in New York. Maskit garments were sold by Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The company closed in 1994 but it was reopened in 2013 by Nir and Sharon Tal, who had worked for Deloitte and Alexander McQueen. One of the investors was Israeli businessman Stef Wertheimer, founder of the industrial tool manufacturer Iscar.
- Israeli fashion
- Economy of Israel
- Culture of Israel
- American–German Colony, where Ruth Dayan opened a Maskit branch and the "Keren" restaurant, a pioneer of Israeli fine dining
- How an Israeli luxury fashion brand transitions to modified heritage, Forbes
- Maskit: The revamping of Israel's first ever fashion house
- Breathing new life into legendary Israeli fashion brand Maskit, Haaretz
- A Leitersdorf showcase, Haaretz
- McQueen to Maskit: The mind behind the brand
- Fashion despite Tel Aviv bombings: The fashion show goes on, New York Times